At the core of the Lehigh Valley’s success is the ability to agree to a common set of ideals that serve as a foundation for management, preservation and growth of the region. This is reflected in the Lehigh Valley’s ability to overcome challenges like the decline in the demand for slate and closing of Bethlehem Steel. We have always come together during times of change—positive, negative and everything in between. We have evolved our organizational and management structures to adapt to changing needs. We’ve done it through the formation of organizations like the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority  and Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority. We’ve enhanced it with the development of multi-municipal partnerships like the Nazareth Area Council of Governments and Colonial Regional Police. We’ve built cross-industry partnerships through entities like the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley and Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, and we’ve marketed our many assets through Discover Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation.

In the face of so many future forces, whether it’s globalization, the shared economy, energy diversification, living longer, or substantial population growth, we will do what we’ve always done: Rise to the challenge, innovate, adapt, evolve and succeed. We are a can do entrepreneurial region that values our people, families, communities, assets, environment, businesses, parks and recreation, farming and farmland, housing, buildings, educational and training institutions, land, transportation systems and connectivity. We value our history, too, and we don’t revise it. We own it. We understand it. We accept that we do not need to destroy the past because it is already gone, just as we understand that the destruction of the past is one of the greatest of crimes.

We are substantive and never build on the passing novelty that plagues the fading regional beauties in other places. We are well-researched and strategic in our thinking and actions. Who we are and what we are is our single strongest asset. We compete in a global marketplace well because of it. We manage our communities well because of it. We run our businesses well because of it. We are well-positioned for the future because of it. We can never lose sight of it, and this plan is key to the continued realization of our collective, collaborative, unified future.

The goals, policies and actions in FutureLV: The Regional Plan are built from a foundation of those ideals. It is a blueprint for a vibrant, sustainable, resilient and forward-moving region. The most successful regions in the US and World are built on collaboration, partnerships and a collective understanding that everyone is an owner. Our quality of life, culture and identity as the Lehigh Valley is challenged by the rapid population growth, explosion of transportation-based businesses and changes in technology and consumer preference, among other things. These factors will continue to grow, underpinning the need for change and asset management to become primary, overarching strategies to building and evolving the region to rise above the challenges and be prepared for a very advanced, technology-based economy and society. This starts with what designer, planner and educator, Bruce Mau, calls “fact-based optimism,” where we approach our current and future conditions from a perspective of possibility. We must start now. We must begin together. We must be leaders. We must create the Future Lehigh Valley we want and need. We are all owners.










Several key planning initiatives have been identified for research and development, monitoring or updating specific projects or plans. These ideas are key to implementing FutureLV: The Regional Plan and should be considered for LVPC and LVTS planning programs.

  • Integrated Water Resources Management Plan
  • Comprehensive Lehigh Valley Act 167 Stormwater Plan
  • Lehigh Valleywide Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Action Plan
  • Infrastructure Capital Improvements Assessment
  • Water Supply and Sewage Facilities Plan
  • Flood Insurance/Community Rating System Community Support
  • Lehigh Valley Arts and Culture Plan Update
  • Scenic/Viewshed Inventory and Plan
  • Trail-Oriented Design Guide
  • Regional Housing Plan Update
  • Rural Design Guide
  • Recreational Economy Plan
  • Regional Density Increase Analysis
  • Regional Climate Action Plan
  • Micromobility Assessment
  • Routes 22, 33 and I-78 Interscape/Naturalization Plan
  • MacArthur Road Multimodal Corridor Redesign
  • Area Plans for Mixed-Use Centers and Mixed-Transportation Corridors
  • Electric Vehicle Plan
  • Regional Complete Streets Guide
  • Autonomous Vehicle Planning
  • Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Wayfinding Plan
  • Small Cell Technology Design Guide
  • Expanded Equity and Opportunity Analysis
  • Expanded Lehigh Valley Government Academy
  • Greyfields and Retail Conversion Redevelopment Guide
  • Regional Adaptive Transportation Signal and Corridor Plan
  • Drop-off and Loading Zone Guide
  • Freight Facilities and Impacts Guide
  • Smart Regions Planning and Integration


Overall, the goal of the LVPC, counties and local governments is to minimize negative impacts associated with subdivisions, land developments and the regulatory environment in general. Additionally, a clear historic, current and future commitment to the renewal, revitalization and redevelopment of communities, groups of parcels, specific tracts of land and infrastructure is critical to the health, safety and public welfare of the region. This latter commitment to the reuse and repurposing of developed property is key to meeting all of the goals in FutureLV: The Regional Plan.

The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission will:

  • Commit to providing high-quality, reliable research, statistics, data, information and analysis that supports the goals, policies and actions of the region.
  • Review, gather data, analyze and report changes to the land, environment, economy, utilities, water supply, community facilities, farmland preservation, housing, agriculture, transportation, equity, historic preservation, arts and cultural assets, energy conservation and diversification, educational systems and future forces.
  • Support the reuse, revitalization, repurposing and redevelopment of developed property in preference to new development on greenfield sites.
  • Support the use of public programs, public-private partnerships, public-private-non-profit partnerships, and incentive innovations for the renewal and redevelopment of places and communities over greenfield sites.
  • Promote consistency with FutureLV: The Regional Plan.
  • Review and comment on local, county, regional, state and federal plans, policies, regulations and programs as they relate to the implementation of FutureLV: The Regional Plan.
  • Coordinate land use and development across the Lehigh Valley based on FutureLV: The Regional Plan.
  • Facilitate open, equitable public dialogue on comprehensive planning and utilize this information as the basis for LVPC and LVTS work.
  • Partner with others and work on developing new ways to fund transportation and other community critical infrastructure maintenance, asset management, repair, replacement and innovation that meet the goals, policies and actions of FutureLV: The Regional Plan.





More than two years in the making, this document has been the collaboration of dozens of government and community organizations, and the thousands of people who attended the more than 240 public meetings and events that went into creating a vision for the region’s future. FutureLV: The Regional Plan was open for formal public review and comment August 9 through September 23, 2019. Data, plan maps and additional resources utilized to create this plan are available at: